Boys from Brazil keep Chelsea’s hope alive
Chelsea’s EPL title defence is still alive. They moved into third place in the table last Sunday, leapfrogging opponents Manchester City after beating them 2-0, thanks to goals from Brazilian duo David Luiz and Ramires.
The Blues lie four points behind second-placed Arsenal. They are nine points behind leaders Manchester United, with a game in hand and a potentially pivotal trip to Old Trafford on the horizon.
And such has been their recent resurgence that even boss Carlo Ancelotti has changed his tune from ruling out the title completely, even though Ancelotti’s own future has again been the subject of debate after the club announced a forthcoming review of team management.
Meanwhile, the Blues have Manchester United in their Champions League sights as the two giants were drawn together in the quarter-finals of the competition whose final they contested three years ago.
Ancelotti admitted that “we have to try and win every game” if Chelsea are to retain their title. But he added that “the same spirit and attitude” they showed against City would give them a chance.
The Blues had to wait 78 minutes to break the deadlock, with centre-back David Luiz scoring his second goal against Manchester opponents after netting against United recently.
And midfielder Ramires sealed victory with a stylish individual goal in stoppage time. Ancelotti commented: “Luiz and Ramires – fantastic performances and fantastic goals,” whilst adding that Luiz’s strike was “a surprise.”
Before the City win club chief executive Ron Gourlay told BBC Radio that Ancelotti’s position was to be the subject of an end-of-season review. Ancelotti’s contract runs out in 2012 but Gourlay said: “Lets see where we are at the end of May, then we’ll judge the coach and other people at the football club.”
Gourlay had high praise for Ancelotti, describing him as a “world-class coach” whose winning of the double in his first Chelsea season was “a great feat.” However, he added: “We’ve invested a lot of money in…the playing side. This is a pressure you have to live with day-to-day if you want to be at Chelsea.”
The pressure could not be much greater than a Champions League tie against United. Chelsea qualified for the last eight after an entertaining 0-0 draw with Danish champions FC Copenhagen consolidated their 2-0 first-leg lead. The games will take place in the first two weeks of April with the first leg at Stamford Bridge.
Tags: Chelsea, EPL, David Luiz, Carlo Ancelotti, Champions League